My eyes are wide open. My thoughts are running in circles.
I lay in bed anticipating this day. It’s Easter Sunday. A day where I would allow myself to eat. But not just that. I would eat everything, all day long, no big breaks in between. I’d have a huge breakfast, chocolate Easter eggs all day long, a big lunch, cake in the afternoon and an even bigger meal for dinner.
I would stuff myself without worrying about the calories. I had been waiting for this day for weeks. It’s a holiday, an exception. It’s a day when I can let all my rules, all my restrictions, all my guilt be overruled by the fact that this day is to be celebrated. And so, that’s what I did. For years.
I didn’t care about spending quality time with my family or the Christian importance of the day. All that was on my mind was food and the knowledge that tomorrow I would have to go back to my destructive habits and punish myself for taking a day off.
This was my reality for 14 years and I missed out on so very much because my mind was preoccupied with this triviality, which, even if it is an illness, it objectively is. This is not the way to live. It is a way of damaging your health, digestive system, relationships and ultimately life.
How Times Have Changed
This year however, the first year where I am not going into the holiday starved and deprived of any valuable nutritions, everything feels different. I haven’t anticipated the binge fest for weeks. I did not buy chocolate bunnies and easter eggs in quantities that would probably be even too much for a family with 10 kids, but instead I am focusing on sending messages of love and appreciation to my friends and family.
Sure, I bought some yummy Easter treats, but in moderation and I am certain that this Easter celebration will be the best one since my early childhood.
I will be doing an Easter egg hunt with my stepdaughter and I will be enjoying the moments as a family. I will do my best not to worry about the calories of the chocolate and the cake, which, to be honest, will be a challenge for me too. But I will not let that keep me from savoring each bite of my favorite kind of Easter bunnies in the world: the white chocolate ones.
I am proud of that fact and it shows yet another time how much life can change if you are willing to fight your eating disorder and never ever give up.
How You Can Challenge Yourself this Easter
Holidays are always tricky for those who are battling their inner demons. Whether you are scared of having to spend time with your family knowing that they’ll be watching how much it is you’re putting in your mouth or the large amounts of chocolate in the house are triggering you, it is a time of high inner stress.
But it can also be an opportunity to challenge yourself. If you’re in the process of having to gain weight, why not try to eat an Easter bunny to up your calories just a teeny tiny bit? Why not have a piece of cake during tea time with your family?
This, of course, doesn’t apply to those who are only in the early stages of recovery and are still struggling to eat at all. But if you’re a bit further along, a day like this can give you a chance to crush another big barrier: the barrier of eating items that are not necessarily incorporated in your regular meal plan yet.
How You Can Master Easter Without Anxiety
If this seems simply ludicrous for you right now and you cannot possible do this, don’t feel bad about yourself. Try to shift your focus from the food and instead enjoy the time with your loved ones or treat yourself to some nice activities that you would normally deny yourself.
Maybe schedule a massage for Monday, get a manicure or pedicure to reduce the stress of the previous day or watch a nice movie with a few friends.
When the situation on Sunday becomes too unbearable for you, go out for a short walk, journal and keep encouraging notes handy in order to help pick yourself up.
Have a mobile phone with you and a contact you can always confide in when things get too difficult. Have a sincere conversation with your family that this day is going to be nerve-wrecking and that they should please not observe you with eagle eyes since you are already trying your best.
But most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Do what you can and celebrate each and every little victory you have on this day. And remember: It is only one single Sunday.
My Gifts for You
Simply share a few Easter strategies, stories, happy memories or whatever else you can think of with us and I will randomly draw a winner by the end of the next week.
I wish you all a Happy Easter!